National Travel & Tourism Week (NTTW) this year is themed the #FacesOfTravel so we’re exploring the individuals behind-the-scenes at several of our visitor-related businesses. Learn more about Jackie Adams, a diversely talented entrepreneur with as much passion for her community as for her work. Jackie is one of our many tireless contacts; she shares information with the CVB beyond just Oasis Open Air Market’s activities, giving us an opportunity to offer our guests more.
What is your current title? What are your official, and unofficial, job duties?
Co-Owner and Operator of the Oasis Open Air Market and Zone Fitness and Tan
At the Oasis, I am the groundskeeper, event promoter, rental manager, and greeter.
At the Gym, I personal train, group exercise, and nutritional coach.
Where have you worked/which jobs have you had before now?
I grew up working from horse farm to my uncle’s corner store from the time my little hands were big enough to grab a grooming brush, move and align can goods on a shelf, or carry water buckets and move hay bales. After that, I put myself through college doing many different jobs. Upon graduation, with a degree in Polymer Engineering and minor in Chemistry, I took a job at IBM in RTP. During my 25 years at IBM, I traveled and worked in Central America, Europe, and Asia. I retired from IBM as a Senior Technical Manager leading a global team in a group I structured for IBM called the Product Environmental Compliance Center of Excellence. I have always strived for respect, honesty, and credibility, my mantra(s) no matter who I worked with or where I worked. Today I still live by that philosophy.
What makes you happiest at your job?
I am happiest working with people in hopes that they can be successful. Ancillary to that, I love being part of a community that shares in opportunities and exposure to new cultures, all while living in an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for one another.
What keeps you at this job and in this county?
Again, I love what I do, but second to that is the “Charm of Chatham.” Here, new and exciting entrepreneurs are allowed to be born, bringing not only art and culture but opportunity so that all can easily share in open and friendly growth in business.
What do you find most special/significant about this destination (either Chatham County or your specific place of business or both)?
Siler City was a vision of growth and opportunity for many decades until “made in America” was no longer a priority and fell by the wayside while businesses fought to stay profitable. My global work experience, developing supply chains, first in Mexico, then in Asian countries, showed me how to appreciate and work with varied dynamics and infrastructure. Here, “Made in America” can be many things such as “assembled,” “grown,” “drawn,” “welded,” “sawed,” “hammered,” “cultivated in education,” and so on.
In Siler City that opportunity exists to still get in on the affordable ground floor especially at the Oasis in Siler City, so those with ideas, the work ethic, and desire can have a space. We love our vendors, as long as you wish to open and sell your wares, come and set up and decorate your space and storefront without the bricks and mortar, we will help advertise to get more folks into Siler City and experience your wares.
Along with that, as a person who worked many years traveling and doing a high-stress computer job, I put my health second even though I knew better. In my younger years, I worked out a lot and played lots of sports. I even coached softball, played competitively in racquetball until I was 46.
I love my farm and work on it to raise my horses and sell horse quality hay. However, where but Chatham County can you work in a gym (Zone Fitness and Tan) sharing health and fitness, open a business incubator (the Oasis Open Air Market), and still have your farm. That is why the “Charm of Chatham” is my slogan when asked about Siler City and Chatham County.
Jackie ends this feature on a hopeful note, sharing with the CVB some of the challenges of showcasing Siler City. Chatham County entices many from all over; however, more gravitate to only central areas or towns. Those that allow themselves to experience the western portion of the county experience the vision and charm that one can only realize when a long term and deep-rooted perception is positively changed forever. Come on, feel the love and experience the wonder that can be all of Chatham. Attend a Third Friday event, visit during the farmers’ market, come to a Heritage Park Weekend in Silk Hope and just check out the varied vendors and buzz at the Oasis or downtown at the NC Arts Incubator.